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Version: v2.15.x LTS

Configuring Zowe CLI environment variables

Configuring Zowe CLI environment variables

This section explains how to configure Zowe CLI using environment variables.

By default, Zowe CLI configuration is stored on your computer in the C:\Users\user01\.zowe directory. The directory includes log files, profile information, and installed CLI plug-ins. When troubleshooting, refer to the logs in the imperative and zowe folders.


For information on how to use environment variables to execute commands more efficiently, see Using environment variables.

Setting the CLI home directory

You can set the location on your computer where Zowe CLI creates the .zowe directory, which contains log files, profiles, and plug-ins for the product:

Environment variableDescriptionValuesDefault
ZOWE_CLI_HOMEZowe CLI home directory locationAny valid path on your computerYour computer default home directory

Setting a shared plug-in directory

You can set the location of a shared directory to manage plug-ins for multiple users.

A project administrator can pre-install, and update, a plug-in stored in the shared directory to make the same version of that plug-in available to all users. This avoids managing separate copies of a plug-in across a development team.

The plug-in directory must be defined before any Zowe CLI plug-ins are installed.

Any plug-in installed before specifying the environment variable cannot be managed with Zowe CLI. To resolve this, re-install the plug-in after the environment variable is set.

Environment variableDescriptionValuesDefault
ZOWE_CLI_PLUGINS_DIRZowe CLI plug-in directory locationAny valid path on your computerPlug-ins folder inside the Zowe CLI home

Setting CLI log levels

You can set the log level to adjust the level of detail that is written to log files:

Setting the log level to TRACE or ALL might result in sensitive data being logged. For example, command line arguments are logged when TRACE is set.

Environment variableDescriptionValuesDefault
ZOWE_IMPERATIVE_LOG_LEVELImperative CLI Framework logging levelLog4JS log levels (OFF, TRACE, DEBUG, INFO, WARN, ERROR, FATAL)WARN

Setting CLI daemon mode properties

By default, the CLI daemon mode binary creates or reuses a file in the user's home directory each time a Zowe CLI command runs. In some cases, this behavior might be undesirable. For example, the home directory resides on a network drive and has poor file performance. To change the location that the daemon uses, set the environment variables that are described in the following table:

PlatformEnvironment variableDescriptionValuesDefault
AllZOWE_DAEMON_DIRLets you override the complete path to the directory that will hold daemon files related to this user. The directory can contain the following files:
  • daemon.lock
  • daemon.sock
  • daemon_pid.json
Any valid path on your computer<your_home_dir>/.zowe/daemon


  • Windows: %HOMEPATH%\.zowe\daemon
  • Linux: $HOME/.zowe/daemon
Windows (only)ZOWE_DAEMON_PIPELets you override the last two segments of the name of the communication pipe between the daemon executable (.exe) and the daemon.Any valid path on your computer`\.\pipe%USERNAME%\ZoweDaemon

Setting other environment variables

PlatformEnvironment variableDescriptionValuesDefault
AllZOWE_V3_ERR_FORMATFor Zowe V2, reformats the message displayed in REST request errors so problem details, and service response and diagnostic information, display in a reader friendly manner. In Zowe V3, this will be the only error format used and this environment variable will not be available.TRUE, FALSE, blankblank
AllCISet by most Continuous Integration environments automatically. Set to any value, disables progress bars in Zowe CLI.Any
(CI environment name, typically)
AllFORCE_COLORFor most CLI tools, sets the color depth to be used by the CLI on the terminal. Set to 0, disables color and progress bars in Zowe CLI. Set to any other valid, non-blank value, enables color and progress bars in Zowe CLI.

See the subsequent Note regarding Zowe CLI daemon configuration.
0, 1, 2, 3, TRUE, blankblank

When a user does not set FORCE_COLOR and uses the Zowe CLI daemon, the daemon determines if the terminal running the daemon supports colors and progress bars. If it does, the daemon automatically sets FORCE_COLOR to a supported setting in all requests sent to the Zowe CLI daemon server component.